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Woman convicted of killing Latino man, girl faces death penalty

By the CNN Wire Staff
Shawna Forde was found guilty of killing a Latino man and his daughter during a 2009 vigilante raid.
Shawna Forde was found guilty of killing a Latino man and his daughter during a 2009 vigilante raid.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Jury will continue deliberations on Tuesday
  • Anti-illegal immigration vigilante Shawna Forde was convicted of murder this week
  • Forde was found guilty of killing a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter
  • Her two alleged accomplices will go on trial later this year
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(CNN) -- An Arizona jury went home Friday afternoon for a holiday weekend after deliberating for only a few hours on the fate of an anti-illegal immigration activist convicted of killing a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter during a vigilante raid.

Shawna Forde led the raid into the family's rural Arivaca home.

The jury will return Tuesday morning, the Pima County Attorney's Office said.

Forde was convicted Monday on eight counts, including two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of Raul Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, and the attempted murder of the child's mother, Gina Gonzales. The attacks were in May 2009.

The child and her father were American-born U.S. citizens.

The jury also convicted Forde on two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of burglary, armed robbery and aggravated robbery.

Her alleged accomplices, Albert Robert Gaxiola and Jason Eugene Bush, are scheduled to go on trial later this year.

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Forde as the ringleader of the hit squad, and said she had planned the raid and the murders to steal weapons, money and drugs to finance a new anti-illegal immigration outfit.

The trio picked the Flores home, prosecutors said, because of a claim made by Gaxiola that they would find drugs there.

While Flores had a history of drug-related offenses, no drugs were found in the house.

Posing as border patrol and law enforcement officers, Forde, Gaxiola and Bush, whom prosecutors identified as the gunman, showed up at the Flores home after midnight, several hours after the family had returned from a shopping trip in Tucson to buy shoes for their daughter for summer camp.

Brisenia was sleeping on the couch with her puppy when the group demanded to be let into the home. They accused Flores of harboring illegal aliens and said the house was surrounded by agents.

Once inside, the gunman shot Flores in the chest and Gonzales in the leg. Brisenia was later shot as she pleaded for her life.

Jewelry taken from the Flores home was later found in Forde's possession. Text messages discovered on her phone also implicated her in the crime.